Snowball Buddies

I can't rave enough about this pattern. All four snowball buddies were super fast and fun to make. The pattern allows for quite a bit of freedom to mix and match the animals. And each ended up having their own unique personalities as well. So without further ado, allow me to introduce:

Marzipan the Owl, a self-confessed fashionista who insisted that I knit him mittens to match his hat.

Have you ever met a mouse who abhorred cheese? Well now you have. Meet Candy Cane, who has a secret cheese phobia...but manages to make an exception for cheesecake.

Sugar Plum isn't your typical sweet bunny. She loves 70's punk, playing the drums and spicy carrot curry. She hates being called cute.

Last but certainly not least, meet Lolly (short for Lollipop) the Red-nosed Reindeer. He has been patiently waiting for years for his big acting break. Just don't mention that other reindeer. 

I hope that everyone had a bright and cheerful holiday! Mine was spent at home with my loud but loveable family. Lots of food, movies, laughter and chatter. Some inevitable meltdowns from the youngest members of the family that were quickly forgotten over new toys and sweets. A bad case of dishpan hands from cleaning up after my MIL. So sad to see it all over for another year. After the tree is put away, I might have to leave the snowball buddies out all winter long as a cheerful reminder of these happy moments.

 (linking up with FO Friday over at Tami's)


Big Head, Little Hats

Why is a finished hat in a WIP post, you might ask? Well, every holiday I try to knit the little guy a new hat for the winter season. This year I chose the Simple Slouchy Hat for its simplicity and short time requirement. It is a great pattern, but I failed to take into account that little noggins grow into big ones before you know it. So it's back to the knitting needles for this one. Although I am thinking of keeping it for myself and just picking a totally new pattern for the little guy.  I ran out of the grey Ultra Alpaca but that ended up being a good thing...I kind of like the color block trend that's happening now.

Also on the needles are more snowball buddies.  They are my new knitting obsession! I have made three so far and these little hats are the start of two more. Hopefully I can get them finished before Christmas. Can't wait to show you how they came out. They might be my most favorite knit creations ever :)

(linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Tami's)


Thoughts and Prayers

One of my patients made me this angel a few years back. It reminds me that after darkness comes healing and light.



On Monday I went to Target with the intention of checking a few presents off the Santa List. Instead, I left with some cute pajamas, a big plushy polka-dotted bathrobe and a pair of knee high Hello Kitty slipper socks...all for myself.

The shawl is more than halfway finished.

On Tuesday I went on ravelry with the intention of finding some quick presents to knit. Instead, I spent an hour looking at ornament patterns and fell for this adorable set. So now I am knitting a sweater wearing mouse...for myself.

On Wednesday I went to the freezer in search of some dinner inspiration. Instead, I found this...

How is your holiday shopping/crafting going? I hope that you are managing to stay on-track!

(linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Tami's)


Grey Day

Today was my unofficial "pre-holiday kick back and relax day". So after throwing putting the little guy on the bus, I made myself a big mug of coffee, sat in my favorite chair and knitted away on some new projects.

The first one is a simple slouchy rib hat using two strands of Berroco Ultra Alpaca held together and number 11 needles...in grey.

The second project is my long wished for rustic Sontag style shawl...in grey.

the first casualty of the season

Grey seems to be my go-to color for this time of year. Its calm soothing undertones seem to fit my need for some sensory relaxation right now. I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the cheerful decorations and music, but sometimes a little grey is a good thing.

(linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Tami's)


FO: Tea with Jam and Bread

This was one of the fastest sweater that I have ever knitted. Also one of the coziest! The pattern is Tea with Jam and Bread by the fabulous Heidi Kirrmaier. This is the fifth sweater that I have knitted using her designs and I ♥ and wear each and every one of them. I particularly ♥ that it is knitted with yarn from my stash. The main light grey yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca and is a dream to knit with. Heidi's patterns are always full of great details, like these cute pockets.

I also ♥ that the sweater is knitted from the top down starting with the neckband, which is shaped using a neat yarn over short row technique. It is always a nice unexpected surprise to learn something new from such a simple looking pattern. Couldn't resist amping up the cozy factor by turning the sleeves into handwarmers.

And here's my Interweave Knits pose...

(linking up with FO Friday over at Tami's)


November ♥

♥ The changing moods of a typical November day here in Maryland. One minute grey and stormy, the next sunny and clear blue.
♥ Wearing boots and taking a long walk in the rain. Had the trails all to myself yesterday. Thinking about knitting warm wooly socks to wear with my rain boots.
♥ Speaking of woolen footwear, I dug out a pair of slipper socks that my little sister had gifted me with last Christmas. I had forgotten about these. So warm and cozy, even if the label says that they are mainly acrylic with a touch of wool. Makes me want to knit a pair out of 100 percent wool. Maybe this pattern or this.
♥ Rereading the book that motivated me to relearn to knit all those years ago. The images and words really speak to me on so many levels. My favorite is this one with all its everyday knitterly details: the tied shawl, the wooden buckets with their knitted straps, the girl's work in progress in her hands. I love the shawl that she is wearing and spent quite a bit of time last night looking on ravelry for something similar. I am leaning towards this one or this. Or designing my own? There are some wonderful examples in the book.
♥ Simple and fun colorwork. Almost done with the first mitt. I have plans to make a few more pairs as Christmas gifts, but we'll see. Trying to take it easy this holiday and not get stressed out. Gift cards for everyone? We'll see ;)

(linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Tami's)


Halloween WIP

I hope that those of you who were in the path of Frankenstorm made it through safe and sound. Our little island took quite a beating from the high winds, but luckily the flooding and storm surges that are usual occurrences here during a hurricane were absent. It is funny how people react differently to stressful situations. The little guy was totally oblivious and just happy to be having a few days off from school. My normally health conscious hubby binged on junk food the whole time. Luckily, I had my knitting, otherwise there would have been some seriously nasty fights over the stash of Halloween candy which is now almost half gone. There is nothing more calm-inducing and comforting than an easy stockinette stitch top-down sweater pattern such as tea with jam and bread. I am just adoring knitting this right now, as evidenced by how fast my progress has been. Look, pockets! And a finished body! And half a sleeve!

Hopefully, I can get in some more knitting in between handing out treats and tricks to the trick or treaters tonight. I will try to post a picture of the little guy in his costume later. It is so cute to see his excitement over his costume this year. Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Check put WIP Wednesday for some frightfully talented bloggers and their ghoulishly good knitting and crochet projects ;)

eta: last year he was The King, this year he's The King of Pop!



a new sweater pattern by my favorite designer

a way to use up some soft Ultra Alpaca from my stash

a chance to play with colors and stripes

but trying to restrain myself by keeping to a softer palette as I

happily look forward to wearing the cozy finished sweater

whilst singing along to my favorite musical and

drinking tea with jam and bread.

And you? What is on your needles or hook on this lovely autumn day? Go check out some talented folks and their projects at WIP Wednesday over at Tami's.


FO: Spoked Cardigan

The cooler weather has brought on a burst of sweater knitting energy which resulted in my finally finishing the Spoked Cardigan. This project has been languishing in the WIP basket for about a year now. It seemed appropriate to finish it during my favorite season because this colourway of Noro just shouts Autumn to me.

The sweater is knit sideways, beginning at the right front and working around the body to the left front. It was my first time knitting this type of sweater construction and I have to say that I much prefer my usual top-down method, which seems more intuitive and fluid. You don't know how many times I wanted to scream when I read "break yarn, place stitches on holder" while knitting this cardigan. And towards the end, having to graft two sleeves was a big factor in why this project was buried for a year. All that being said, the pattern is extremely well written and shows off the beautiful color changes of Noro to its best advantage. It also includes cute sleeve and hip tabs, perfect for using up some rustic wooden buttons from the button jar.

Another disadvantage to knitting a sweater sideways is that it is much harder to get a reading on how well it will fit and to make adjustments along the way. Also, getting the correct stitch AND row gauge is essential to the final product. My sweater ended up being a little snug with the fronts buttoned up, so it will probably be worn unbuttoned, which is how I normally wear my cardigans anyways. In the end, I am glad that I ventured out of my knitting comfort zone with this project and the final sweater will see a lot of wear in the months ahead. Just not on the days when I feel like being a wallflower because the colors are quite outrageous, don't you think?

(linking up with FO Friday over at Tami's)


26 Candles

How I celebrated my birthday on Wednesday:

♥ Went a little wild at the craft store and set out to buy one skein for every candle on my birthday cake. So that would make me umm...26 years old.
♥ Spent waaay too much time on ravelry looking at possible contenders for a crochet blanket project in order to use up most of the above yarns. So many choices!
♥ Ate 4 slices of yummy cake.

♥ Finished knitting the Miranda Hat, which I modified slightly to be more of a slouchy style hat. This one will be donated to charity. Such a fun easy knit and the resulting hat is warm and comfy. I really want to make another one for myself.

 ♥ Took a moment to appreciate the beauty of a vase full of roses and to be grateful for all the little bits of happiness sprinkled throughout this past year. 

(Heidi was the first novel that I ever read on my own and remains one of my favorites. It felt like the right moment to reread it, now that I'm umm...26 ;) Linking up with FO Friday over at Tami's blog)


Knitter's Amnesia

The Scene: A knitter is in the process of grafting the sleeves of her almost completed sweater. The air is thick with tension.

The Knitter: (mumbling under her breath) knit off, knit on....or no, is it purl off, knit on?!? Sh*t! 

The Kid: Mommy! You shouldn't swear at your knitting. 

The Knitter: (looking guilty) You must have heard me wrong. I said knit, not sh*t! 

The Kid: See! You said it again! Now I get to wash your mouth out with soap! 

The Knitter: D*mn. 

And so presenting the first in a series of Knitter's Amnesia Coffee Mugs: 

Guaranteed to get me through the Kitchener well caffeinated and without a speck of soap in my mouth. 

(linking up with the talented folks participating in WIP Wednesday over at Tami's blog)



It has been unseasonably warm for October (80 degrees and muggy!) so I am taking a quick break from sweater knitting in order to make a Miranda hat.

What a fun and easy project! I love watching the little diamonds pop up as the knitting goes round and round. The yarn (Bamboo Ewe from Stitch Nation) has great drape and is very soft. The grey color is really showing the stitch pattern well. Everything is going clickety-click. Except there's one....... tiny.......... thing......... nagging....... at me.........

There, that's better!

(linking up to WIP Wednesday with Tami's Amis)


FO: Summer Crush


This chevron scarf/stole was the perfect project for the summer just past. Simple, portable and filled to the brim with color, it was my constant summer companion on frequent trips to the beach, on days so hot that all we could do was seek shelter indoors, on too brief family vacations. Now that Autumn is here, I am a little sad to have to say farewell. So the other day I went searching through my closet, looking for inspiration to turn my crush into something more serious...




...because who says that an over-the-top colorful accessory can't be just as versatile as a plain ol' neutral one? Not me!

(linking up with all the fun over at FO Friday at Tami's blog)


yarn & bicycles

One of my goals for this year is to get back in shape. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people (like my hubby) who love to exercise for its own sake. There are always other things that I rather be doing, like eating, reading, listening to music or knitting. But the other day, I had a moment of inspiration. Why not combine exercise with something enjoyable? It was a beautiful day so I decided to pack a lunch & a small crochet project and ride my bike to a little dock at the eastern end of the island.

It was so peaceful sitting next to the water and looking at the boats sailing back and forth. I didn't even mind the bike ride back. So weather permitting, I hope to make this an afternoon routine on my days off. And the crochet project?

It is a smaller version of the blooming flower cushion from Attic24. Instead of a pillow cushion, I ended up putting it here:

Having a bicycle decked out in yarn is just more motivation for me to exercise, right?

(check out FO Friday at Tami's blog for more knitting and crochet fun)



Ever since I was little, I have secretly loved back to school time. Shopping for new clothes and shoes, picking out school supplies, anticipating seeing all of my friends again, anxiously worrying about new teachers. Yes, it makes me envious of the little guy a bit. I am sure he would trade places with me in a heartbeat, too. So to make us both feel better about the new school year, I have assigned myself some homework. I am a self-confessed secret hoarder. On the outside, my house might be clean and organized but danger lurks inside every drawer and closet. So at the top of the list is to reorganize the horror that is my kitchen cupboards in order to make room for some long awaited new kitchen gadgets.

 Second is to sort through and donate the little guy's outgrown clothes and toys.

Third is to finish some forgotten sweater projects if I can figure out where I left off. (Note to self: write self a note before burying a project deep down in the WIP basket).

Aidez cardigan and Spoked cardigan

Fourth is to start on some holiday and charity knitting. Love the Miranda Hat pattern by Evelyn from Project Stash so I plan on using up some stash acrylic yarn to knit a few for a local shelter. But first, those kitchen cupboards await....maybe after I knit a few more rows of my Summer Crush.... should really finish this one since summer is over now....

(joining in with all the fun over at WIP Wednesday with Tami's Amis)